What God Taught Me About Forgiving Others Through Betrayal
I thought I could trust her. She was my friend and my confidant. We shared everything. It still stings, but betrayal always does. In my heart, I was crushed because the place where I had been able to be myself for years was no longer safe. Have you ever felt the betrayal of a friendship?
I will never forget the day when what I spoke in confidence to my best friend came back to me through someone else. But what she shared wasn’t gossip about anyone. It was about me.
It was about a struggle I was dealing with personally. I knew exactly where the other person had heard it because my friend was the only one I told. I could not figure out why my friend would do such a hurtful thing. Trust was equally important to both of us, and now that trust was broken.
I was hurt and angry.
I cried myself to sleep for days.
When I confronted my friend, she confessed she didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Maybe it wasn’t to her, but it was to me. She didn’t even apologize for her actions. Betrayal in a friendship is hard especially when you have been friends for as long as us.Sheila was hurt and angry. She cried herself to sleep… but her friend didn't think it was a big deal… Click To Tweet
I Wanted Revenge
We didn’t speak for weeks. I wallowed in hurt and licked my wounds, vowing never to allow anyone other than my husband to get that close again. I must be honest and say I wanted to take revenge and share some of her secrets to let her know what betrayal of friendship felt like, but I didn’t.
You know why?
Because Jesus stepped in.
I found myself in the book of Luke reading about the Last Supper. It was there that Jesus foretold the story of a disciple named Judas who would betray Him with a kiss for thirty pieces of silver.
Luke 22:20-22 says:
After supper, he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend is the man who will betray me. For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.”
I began to think about my own betrayal experience and realized I too had betrayed Christ because I wasn’t willing to forgive my friend, even if she didn’t ask for it. Instead, I had allowed this betrayal to fester and eat away at my soul just like it did to Judas. Judas ended up taking his own life in remorse for what he had done to Jesus because he didn’t have a repentant heart. I may not have been physically taking my own life, but I sure was destroying my spiritual life.
And Jesus Whispered…
It was at that moment that Jesus spoke to my heart and whispered, “I died for every betrayal that mankind has committed against me and each other.”
I began to weep knowing what I had done to Jesus, my friend and myself. It is true, we all experience being the betrayer and the one betrayed at one point or another. But then there is the cross.
The way to get past the betrayal is to go to the cross first and ask for forgiveness, not for your betrayer, but yourself. I could allow the enemy to keep infiltrating every thought and continue to become bitter, resentful and even angrier, or I could forgive and allow God to restore, renew and refresh my soul.
I Had A Choice
It was my choice. What was more precious to me? My anger from the betrayal, or my friend?
If I chose to continue in my bitterness and anger, it mocked Jesus and what He did on the cross. I could no longer justify my feelings of unforgiveness. It was there in plain sight. I couldn’t withhold forgiveness from the person who betrayed me and expect to receive forgiveness for myself. It doesn’t work that way.
I had taken Satan’s bait; hook, line, and sinker. The loss of our priceless friendship had cost far too much.
I wish I could say we made up in a few days, but we didn’t. However, though I reached out numerous times, but she didn’t respond. I kept praying for restoration not knowing if it was ever going to happen, but finally, it did.
Don’t Waste Precious Time
It was ten long years before we spoke again, but our conversation was filled with love, forgiveness, and grace. We prayed and cried together and shared how much we missed one another. It was obvious we had both grown in the time we were apart. We were ten years older with more faith and a deeper understanding of forgiveness than when we were in our 20’s. Jesus taught us important lessons and healed both of our hearts.
Thus, I encourage you, get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Join The Conversation
Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? If so, I am sorry for your pain and hurt. It is not an easy place to be. But, I do know with Jesus, forgiveness is a beautiful gift you can give to each other.
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Feel free to share part of your own story or your feelings on forgiveness.Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? Sheila has. Read her story and join the conversation here… Click To Tweet
Betrayal is tough and one of the hardest things to deal with I think. Love your beautiful story of how you found freedom.
I agree betrayal is hard, but I’m so thankful for Jesus who died for me (the worst betrayer) and the lessons I have learned in the process.
Oh yes, betrayal does hurt so very much – as well as other sins of being turned away from. So glad that Jesus forgives and we can too. He is such a wonderful Saviour.
I am so thankful for the grace of God which covers all my sin. His love is truly amazing that even in my worst moments God forgives me and loves me the same. He is a good, good Father!
Hi Sheila, Thank you for this very honest post. I am in the weeping stage as my mother seems to have completely forgotten about me exactly when I so desperately need her. I can forgive, but I keep thinking “I refuse to put my head on that chopping block again”. Even though I miss the relationship so much, it’s just too risky and frightening. I have a lot to learn in this whole forgiveness thing. I always find myself thinking “I forgive them, but…”
I am very sorry you are hurting. Oh, I know all those words, “I forgive them, but…” I have used them plenty. Forgiveness is a process God teaches me on a daily basis. I have found forgiveness isn’t so much about the other person, but it is about getting my joy back and not letting them have the ability or allowing the situation to control my thoughts. My heart aches that you are going through so much! I will be praying for you and your situation. The good news is God loves you and He will never betray you. His love is steadfast! Please feel free to e-mail me or message me if you would like to talk. You are never alone!
It’s interesting how betrayal from a friend strikes the heart like little else. But forgiveness really is the only path that heals that wound. FOrgiveness leads to freedom and a life God can use.
I couldn’t agree more. Unforgiveness can make you feel like a caged animal ready to prey on the innocent. That is never pretty for anybody! I’m thankful for a God whose forgiveness set me free!
Betrayal is a beast, especially when it happens at the hands of your own family which is my circumstance. Forgiveness is something I write about often at my blog because it something I am constantly working through because of the betrayal. I read an interesting take on forgiveness recently that I’d never heard. Will blog about it and share next week. It’s great that you and your friend were able to get past it. Blessings to you…
Hi, Yvonne! Betrayal is a beast! Betrayal is the thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy! I have seen it time and time again and even used against me! What I have learned is the devil isn’t that smart. Satan uses the same old tactics over and over and yet we seem to fall in the trap over and over. I am so thankful that God’s mercies are new every day and His love is never ending! I’m looking forward to reading your post. I am sorry you have been hurt through betrayal. It is never a fun place to be. Praying for you and the situation that God would heal in amazing ways!